Based on their experiences, the team knew that an ideal expedition boat would need to be speedy, relatively stable, lightweight, self-rescuing (that is, if it flips, the sailing team can re-right and drain the boat without assistance), light-weight, and able to traverse shallow waters.
A few months of hard work (and a few months of fallow time), and poof! It's a boat. A boat named "Spawn."
A 22-foot long sloop, with a sliding rowing seat and a centerboard, Spawn's chockablock with upcycled parts: a used Melges-20 carbon-fiber mast, twin rudders from a Hobie 16, a narwhale-like bowsprit fabricated from a Captiva mast, Frankenscot's old shaped centerboard, a massive carbon-fiber boom constructed from an A-cat mast that met with an unfortunate accident, big wide hiking racks made of aluminum tubing, borrowed oars.
On-the-water testing started in December.
A generous crew of supporters, speed testers, and assorted Igors helped launch and bless the boat and then chase it around. The Spawn was flipped and righted and the team tested the roller-furling jib and the reefing system for the main, popped various 'chutes while the Igors gave chase with cameras.
The racing team –– TwoBeers, Morsailesed, and Ninjee (O.H. Rodgers will be the third Spawnster) –– planned to do some overnight dry-runs.
But someone turned up the rpms on the time-machine, and suddenly we have 17 days to go.
Minus the 7 days when we'll be racing other boats.
Which means it's time to double-check the lithium batteries in all the navigation gear.
Time to refresh the skills involved in deploying the SPOT tracker, the EPiRB, the GPS and the back-up GPS.
Time to pack the waterproof bags and cook the special treats and study the weather and try (TRY!) to keep ahead of that deadline.